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Topic: DCF FILING: from those who have gone through it recently  (Read 34899 times)

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The stickied topic near the top of this page is old, as I wrote it out several years ago when I was going through the process. Things change all the time in immigration land, and anyone who has gone through the DCF process recently who wants to work with me on adjusting that timeline, can you just send me a message privately and we'll get some more useful up to date information on there. Thanks. :)
« Last Edit: June 07, 2010, 11:42:04 AM by Marlespo »
I'm done moving. Unrepatriated back to the UK, here for good!

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I agree! Posting on here would be helpful to my in my research as my husband and I are figuring out our options for when my spousal visa is up in April. And any rules, forms, fees etc. that may have changed ... official Government websites never seem to make it easy to figure out. xx

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Going through ours right now.  Not the norm though.

Applied in September. Got a notice pretty quickly that they received it and were processing.

We took our time getting documents together because we still had a house to sell.  I'm sure we could have moved this along pretty quickly but we didn't.

Took about 3 weeks to get the background check done.  Scheduled medical in January.  Sent in the second batch of paperwork during this time. Got notice in February that our consulate meeting was in March, exactly 30 days after the letter.

Did our meeting at the consulate and was told we did not have enough liquid assets to meet the monetary guideline.  It didn't matter that our house was on the market and we were not leaving until it sold or that we had investments.  They want liquid assets or a secondary sponsor.  If you do not have a job in America, you need five times the poverty level in liquid funds.

Plus, my hubby has MS and they required him to have health insurance and that took some research not to pay $28,000 (that was the highest and first quote we got).

So we got the secondary sponsor, paperwork came from America. During this time we got the insurance sorted out and just sent all of this off last Wednesday.  We are hoping to hear back by next week. 

Thank goodness we just got an offer on our house too so hopefully we will be able to get out of here soon!


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Okay, I've been researching this for myself and my friend all day based on the original DCF posts here and the embassy site. Here is a more up to date guideline to go by (although double check the sites and links, as I have compiled this for people with fairly simple circumstances: no divorces, children, etc.)

Filing from the UK -> DCF (Direct Consular Filing)
Processing time -> up to 6 months
Assets Needed -> Secondary sponsor (located in US) with income of 125% of
national poverty line for their household size or liquid assets of three
times the national poverty line**

Filing from the US -> processing time 9-13 months
Assets Needed -> Sponsor located in US (you or other) with income as above


Forms Required:
I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative)
G-325A (Biographical Information Sheet)
DS-230-I (Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration)
DS-2001 (Notification of Applicant Readiness)
I-864 (Affidavit of Support)

1. File a Petition (form I-130) & receive a case number
2. Request Police Certificate
3. File DS-230 part 1
4. File DS-2001
5. Collect Affidavits of Support & materials
6. Receive ‘Packet 4’ with interview date
7. Get Medical Exam (applicant only)
8. Attend the Interview
9. Receive Visa
10. Port of Entry

TOTAL ESTIMATED COST-> approximately £800

1.   File a petition – in return you will get case number (which must be put on subsequent forms to be processed) along with further instructions
a.   Forms and guidance: http://www.usembassy.org.uk/dhs/uscis/i130filing.html
b.   Fee is $355
c.   Checklist and supporting documents
i.   Checklist for petition
ii.   Credit Card Payment Form or Cashiers Check
iii.   Form I-130
iv.   Petitioner’s proof of US citizenship (photocopy of passport main page)
v.   Petitioner’s proof of residence in the UK (photocopy of visa)
vi.   Photocopy of Marriage Certificate
vii.   Form G-325A with passport size photo– Biographic Information for petitioner
viii.   Form G-325A with passport size photo – Biographic Information for beneficiary
ix.   First class self-addressed stamped envelope

2.   Order police certificate http://www.acpo.police.uk/certificates.asp
a.   Fee is £35
b.   Processing can take up to 40 days

3.   File biographic data form DS-230 (Part 1 only). You will get information back about supporting documents needed. (Affidavit of support from US form I-864)

4.   Send form DS-2001 (DS-2001 is a checklist of the supporting documents you will provide at the interview. Do not send them with the application, just tick on the form what you will supply – take originals and a copy to the interview). If it will not take long to assemble these documents, you can save time by sending the DS-2001 along with the DS-230-I. After the Immigrant Visa Unit receives both DS forms, they will send an interview date with around a month’s notice.

5.   Collect relevant supporting documents
a.   Petitioner’s passport
b.   Applicant’s passport
c.   Petitioner’s birth certificate
d.   Applicant’s birth certificate
e.   Applicant’s police certificate
f.   Petitioner’s & Applicant’s photographs (Passport quality photographs -  http://www.passportphoto.co.uk/ is a place right near the embassy and have been in business for ages.) 
g.   Evidence of support (forms I-864 and supporting documents)*
h.   Marriage certificate
i.   Cover Letter

6.   Immigrant Visa Unit will advise you concerning the scheduling of the medical examination and the appointment for the formal visa interview.
a.   Schedule medical appointment promptly as there could be a two week wait for the appointment

7.   Receive medical examination***
a.   Fee £200 plus cost of vaccinations
b.   Have vaccination records with you if possible
c.   Must be done at one of two London locations at least 5 days before interview

8.   Go to Interview
a.   Visa Processing Fee $400 (or GBP equivalent)
b.   Required courier & envelop Fee £14 and up
c.   Take supporting documents and form DS-230 (Part 2 unsigned)

9.   Your passport with visa will be mailed back to you and is valid for up to 6 months. An envelope will also be mailed with your visa - Do not open envelope!

10.    Port of Entry with brief interview – give them the visa and unopened envelope (may have a sealed envelop containing chest x-ray from medical exam to give them as well)
a.   If you stated in your paperwork that you would like a SSN upon entry, the process will be started here
b.   A temporary I-551 stamp (the stamp equivalent of a green card) will be stamped in the Applicant’s passport. This is valid for 1 year and can be used to enter the country until his green card arrived.
c.   The officer will then stamp the passport with an IR-1 stamp (Immediate Relative stamp - This stamps means the Applicant’s permanent residence status is unconditional because it is based on a marriage that was more than two years old on the day you entered the US)

More Info: http://www.usembassy.org.uk/cons_new/visa/iv/ivprocess.html
Detailed steps: http://www.usembassy.org.uk/cons_new/visa/iv/ds2001.html

* 1. As the petitioner, you are required by law to file an I-864 even if you do not earn enough income. If you do not earn enough income, you may add the value of your assets and/or income and assets of your household members, if they are willing. If this still does not meet the federal poverty guidelines, a joint sponsor will be required to file an I-864.
**Poverty Guidelines at:
http://www.uscis.gov/ilink/docView/SLB/DATAOBJECTS/I_864P.pdf - but may be
changed as these are an extensions of 2009’s figures.
Sponsor in the US must earn an income of at least 125% of the poverty line
for their household size. Alternatively, liquid assets worth three times the
amount of the poverty line will qualify.
2. The Affidavit of Support, form I-864, is required to show that an intending immigrant has adequate means of financial support while in the United States and is not likely to become a public charge.
3. The sponsor/joint sponsor’s obligation continues until the sponsored immigrant becomes a U.S. citizen, can be credited with 40 qualifying quarters of work, departs the United States permanently, or dies. Divorce does not terminate the obligation.
4. There is no limit to how many sponsors the Applicant may have, however, each joint sponsor must meet the income requirement of the Federal poverty guidelines for your household size.
5. Have your US sponsor fill out the affidavit and include all the evidence they need to provide and have them put it in a sealed envelope and send it to you in another envelope.
6. All the affidavits go with the applicant on the interview day.
7. You will need to include your US tax records for the last 3 years. If you do not have them handy, you can either request them through the IRS website, or you can visit the Embassy in London and get them through the IRS section there. You must visit when they have "walk-in" hours though, which are Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 10-2, or Wednesdays 2-4.
8. To save time you can also go to the Embassy to have your I-864 signed in front of a notary. You can do this on the day of your final interview, but it may save time to do it ahead of time, and it is a free service.

***In order to assist the panel physician, and to avoid delays in the processing of an immigrant visa, all immigrant visa applicants should have their vaccination records available for the panel physician's review at the time of the immigrant medical examination.

The medical examination is performed at one of two medical centres in London. The medical examination cannot be performed by the applicant's own physician.

The medical examination must take place before the visa interview. If you attend the Embassy without having attended the medical examination, the interview will be cancelled and you will be required to reschedule for a later date.

The medical results will be couriered to the Embassy within approximately 5 workdays of the examination.  If the results have not been received by the time you attend the interview, provided the medical examination has taken place, action on your application will be suspended until such time that they are received.

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Also the IR-1 stamp may not be applicable. If you have been married for less than two years on the day that you enter the US, you will get a CR-1 stamp, as stated in the original stickied post.

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thank you, chi!  this information is really helpful--we're just starting to look into this process, as well.  we are still debating whether we should stay long enough for me to get citizenship here or if we should aim to move back next summer. 

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Since medical exams must take place in London and it may take as many as 5 days for results to be couriered to the embassy  am I right in thinking my husband will probably have to make two trips south for this process, exam and interview?  Or plan a long stay in London?  (£$£$£$£$)

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Re: DCF FILING: from those who have gone through it recently
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2010, 12:52:09 PM »
That's what I got from it too June... two trips may be cheaper depending on how you do it. No need to stay in London for a whole week unless you have family to visit or something? I assume that you would need to be down there for the interview as well, although I doubt for the medical exam. Unfortunate, but I think I'll be looking at taking the national express down from Leeds at that time if I can't find a cheap enough train ticket. We've done it once before - It's not the most enjoyable experience ever but it's MUCH cheaper. Of course if you drive that would be a much cheaper option as well.

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Re: DCF FILING: from those who have gone through it recently
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2010, 12:58:13 PM »
I would definitely book your medical and the embassy appt separately with as much time as possible in between.  My DH had his appt today and his blood pressure was high.  He has to go back to his GP get it checked again and if necessary get a letter detailing the action plan to lower the BP.  They won't send the results of his medical until they get the letter from his GP. 

We live in London, so we don't have to worry about travel, but I wouldn't make any assumptions about how quickly the medical results will get sent to the embassy.

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Re: DCF FILING: from those who have gone through it recently
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2010, 01:01:48 PM »
Good point Karin! The embassy site also states that if you show up for your interview and they don't have the medical exam results yet you will be turned away and have to reschedule. So yes, make sure to get the exam asap.

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Re: DCF FILING: from those who have gone through it recently
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2010, 04:36:19 PM »
Thank you for the reply.   :)   It sounds like two trips will be needed.  We could drive but wouldn't parking be a nightmare?  I've ridden National Express from Sheffield to Heathrow, I don't suppose it would be much different from Leeds to London.  A long trip but not horrible.

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Re: DCF FILING: from those who have gone through it recently
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2010, 10:11:16 PM »
Parking isn't too bad around there actually.  Your best bet would be to park in Selfridges car park.  It's £7 for 2 hours, maybe £10 for 3 hours and so forth.  For the medical, my husbands took an hour today.  The embassy appt will be longer, probably at 3-4 hours.


There is also the Portman Square NCP.  Which is roughly the same charges.  Both are within walking distance to the emabssy and the drs. 

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Re: DCF FILING: from those who have gone through it recently
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2010, 07:52:28 AM »
Thank you Karin!  I will make a note of these for when we need them.
Maybe this won't be the nightmare I'm dreading after all.   :)

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Re: DCF FILING: from those who have gone through it recently
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2010, 05:59:28 PM »
This is great, thanks! 
One question I have is that my husband would probably not have any vaccination records being that he is 64 and rarely sees his GP.
Do you know what kind of vaccinations he has to have?

Another is it looks like our house will have to be sold and money in the bank first to prove the support funds?  I will not be getting a job in the US until the paperwork is well near the end of the process (I want to make sure he does all this properly  ;) ) I can then go first to the US and stay with family looking for work while he still works here so we have at least one income coming in.


Re: DCF FILING: from those who have gone through it recently
« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2010, 11:55:41 AM »
Just thought I would share our timeline so far.

7 June 2010 I-130 filed w/US Embassy in London Special Delivery
8 June 2010 - Delivered to Embassy
15 June 2010 - Email confirmation from Embassy that petition was received
25 August 2010 - Received notice requesting further information of how DH & I met and our Daughters Long Form Birth Certificate & her Consular Report of Birth Abroad.
26 August 2010 - Sent items requested to Embassy 1st Class Recorded
1 Sept 2010 - Confirmation of Delivery
9 Sept 2010 - Notice of Approval
14 Sept 2010 - Notice of Approval Received

So the easy part is over...now to the hard part...deciding if I go back to the US to start working at my old job or ask (beg) my parents to co-sponsor  :-\\\\

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